Early-bird entries for the Webbies, an international contest often called the Emmys of the Internet, are being accepted until Oct. 30, and I am really hoping a number of federal Web managers are planning on entering their sites.
Only a handful of fed Web sites have secured a nomination or taken home top honors in the government category since the inception of the Webbies way back in the World Wide Web's dark ages (i.e., 1997). NASA.gov took home the People's Voice Award in 2002, won in 2003, and claimed the People's Voice Award again in 2009. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory was nominated in 2006. The Library of Congress and the National Science Foundation have also made several appearances on the list of nominees. But beyond that, federal dot govs on the list have been few and far between.
But a lot has changed in a year. A number of cabinet Web sites have undertaken drastic overhauls, reinventing themselves with sleeker designs and social tools. It's getting easier to name the federal agencies that have not revamped their Web presence than naming the ones that have.
Also, brand new sites like Data.gov, Recovery.gov and Apps.gov are such a departure from fed dot govs of the past that a nifty Flash app like Bay Bridge 360 shouldn't be able to sweep in and take the win.